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Christmas Is as Christmas Does

We live in South Florida: Our Christmas is judged by how we celebrate it, and not by its appearance. And — news flash! — we can celebrate it with the best of places. Who cares if there’s no snow for making angels? We’ll use the sand. A lack of chimney? Not stopping us from hanging stockings. If we want, we’ll see a traditional production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. But we would rather go to a show which stars a drag queen instead.

Scrooge in Rouge employs 95 percent of Dickens’ original script. The added layer? Before the play is about to start, we find out that 17 cast members are sick from food poisoning and cannot perform. But the three actors left — Ricky Graham, drag sensation Varla Jean Merman, and Yvette Hargis — decide the show must still go on. Now, the three of them will attempt to perform every character — and there are about 24 of them. From the hustle and bustle of costume/character changes, writer/director/actor Ricky Graham says, “Once the show gets started, it has a life of its own. While you’re in it, it’s crazy.” The actors will wear bright, fun costumes that don’t quite fit. Ricky Graham adds that, even though they have garnered a large gay following, the show is not dirty, but silly and fun. When children see a tall grown man in heels, they laugh. Find Cinema Paradiso at 503 SE 6th Street. Tickets cost $45. Call 954-525-3456, or visit
Fri., Nov. 27, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 28, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 29, 2 & 8 p.m., 2009


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